How Important Is It to Manage Your Boss? In Other Words, Why Should You Spend the Time Learning to Manage Your Boss?

The web is rife with questions about bosses.  What do you do when your boss is a jerk?  How can you work with asshole bosses?  Why are some bosses so difficult to deal with?  My boss is a flaming narcissist. Now what?  How can I get out from under my boss’s clutches?  Those questions don’t seem to go away.  They just keep coming.

My first shot across the bow is that it’s important in business and in life to develop a thick skin.  You’re always going to be meeting difficult people.  You can’t avoid them, so deal with it. I’ve always thought that a significant measure of my intelligence was tied up in my ability to deal with difficult people.  So I take difficult people as a challenge rather than people to be avoided. I keep score over my successes and put that information into my memory bank for future use.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s go to the more important question:  why should you learn to manage your boss?  It’s easy to gloss over how much help you really need from your boss.  Don’t forget these three reasons for managing your boss.  

First, your boss is the primary source for the resources you need to get your job done.  Growing up in Detroit with a small Chinese population who were in the laundry and cleaning business, the comment, “no tickee, no washee,” was rather well known (Oops.  By now, that’s probably politically incorrect and a prejudicial statement.  Oh well.).  You can’t get your stuff done, if you don’t have a relationship with your boss.  The better the relationship, the more the resources.

In today’s world, you’re liable to get overloaded with work, really overloaded.  That being the case, it’s an important reminder that your boss is the one who can help you prioritize your jobs.  Asking for that kind of help, of course, is a learned skill.

Finally, your boss is the one who can best link you to the rest of the organization.  Your boss can either help or hinder your career.  With a good relationship, he/she can give you all kinds of support, insight and help in linking to others in the organization.  The majority of bosses enjoy pointing to their successes in life.  I know.  I certainly do.

Well, what have you to add?
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